In light of the recent death of George Floyd – and of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Tony McDade and many others – we stand in solidarity with the Black community and with the many people and movements dedicated to combating racism, in the U.S. and Canada, and globally. We support the statement issued by the UBC Black Student Union, and we endorse President Santa Ono’s insistence that racism and bias have no place in our community. As he observes, UBC itself is not immune to racism and injustice; all too often members of racialized groups do not feel safe in public spaces or engaging in quotidian activities, a safety that many of us take for granted. Against the backdrop of the disproportionate threat that COVID-19 poses to Black and Brown communities, the need to take a collective stand against racism and to translate this into action has never been more urgent.
We think all this should go without saying, and we deeply appreciate that another statement of solidarity can ring hollow. Beyond the easy condemnation of bigoted attitudes, we all need to address practices, policies and laws that perpetuate injustice. To mention just a few examples that the massive protests in the U.S. throw into sharp relief, these include changing policing practices and enacting a range of criminal, sentencing and prison reforms. More broadly, we need to address the structure of our basic social, economic and political relations to get at systemic injustices that deny many people their dignity, and impose wide disparities in access to food, healthcare, education, resources and opportunities. In the U.S., Canada and elsewhere we hope media outlets will help to direct the attention of our polity toward constructive changes, and to hold our politicians and leaders accountable on these pressing matters. As removed as philosophy may seem from these realities, we are acutely aware that the striking lack of diversity in our discipline demands critical appraisal of our own practices and an active commitment to foster inclusiveness, equity, and well-being within and beyond our own community.
In the statement by ICIS you can find a list of organizations accepting donations for families of those affected by police violence and for those protesting the racism and injustice. In the statement by Geography you can find other material related to racism.
-Matt Bedke (Head)
-Alison Wylie (Equity Officer)